Why not vegetarian or vegan?

Why not vegetarian or vegan?

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Rob and hens

Some people don’t think animals should be farmed for food and find it upsetting that the RSPCA has a higher welfare food label.

So we’d like to explain the work we’re doing and why - and put a few myths to bed.

You might not agree with us, but we hope it helps explain what we’re trying to achieve.

We also hope you’ll understand our approach - just as we understand the views of those who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

There are a number of vegans and vegetarians

on the RSPCA Assured team, so we know first hand why people might choose not to eat meat, eggs or dairy.

Above all, please be assured that - as an animal welfare charity - the RSPCA cares deeply about farm animals.

We do everything we can to improve their welfare.

Almost a billion animals are farmed for food in the UK each year, as well as many millions of fish.

Whether you like the idea of it or not, the current situation is that the majority of people choose to eat meat, fish and eggs and continue to do so despite being aware of vegetarian and vegan lifestyle options.

Behaviour change takes time

The RSPCA works on many farm animal

welfare issues and encourages people to think about where their food comes from.

Along with other welfare organisations working on this issue, we know it can take a long time to change people’s behaviour.

So, via RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA decided to adopt another approach and work proactively with the farming industry to improve the lives of farm animals.

We use the RSPCA farm animal welfare standards to assess RSPCA Assured members to ensure the animals on the scheme have better lives.

Progress can sometimes be slower than we’d like - however nearly a billion farm animals and many millions of farmed fish have had a better life thanks to RSPCA Assured.

Sometimes people say that RSPCA Assured

encourages people to eat meat - this is not the case.

Our sole goal is to encourage people who already choose to eat meat, fish and eggs to buy products from animals that have had better lives. The RSPCA Assured label makes it easy for them to do this.

And occasionally we're accused of ‘supporting animal abuse’. This is really upsetting for us as nothing could be further from the truth.

Every year we’re helping millions of animals - which would be farmed for food anyway - have better lives.

RSPCA Assured is a charity and not-for-profit organisation - every penny is invested in improving the lives of farm animals.

As well as running RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA continues to raise awareness of how farm animals are reared, transported and

slaughtered and the welfare issues affecting them.

We hope that as more and more people become aware of these issues they’ll make better-informed decisions about the food they choose to eat.

Through our campaigns and by working with the government, consumers, retailers, farmers, stock-keepers and others, we’ve achieved a lot for farm animals.

Of course there’s still lots of work to be done. So we’ll continue to work to progress farm animal welfare.

Whatever you choose to eat, we hope this helps explain the work we’re doing.

Thank you for your support.

Leading by example

RSPCA Assured has had a very positive impact on farm animal welfare in the last 20 years.

So much so that animal welfare charities in other countries have followed suit and set up similar farm assurance schemes:

    • New Zealand SPCA’s food label is called Blue Tick